No. 11 Georgetown upset at McDonough Arena by Old Dominion, 61-57

Old Dominion's Chris Cooper grabs a rebound amid several Hoyas. The Monarchs handed Georgetown its first loss of the season Saturday.
Old Dominion's Chris Cooper grabs a rebound amid several Hoyas. The Monarchs handed Georgetown its first loss of the season Saturday. (John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post)
  Enlarge Photo     Buy Photo
By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 20, 2009

At one end of the gym hung the NBA jerseys of all the Georgetown players who have gone on to play professional basketball. At the other, hung the 1984 national championship banner.

But neither the Hoyas' No. 11 ranking nor their NCAA pedigree amounted to much in a rare game at McDonough Arena, where Georgetown couldn't overcome a sluggish start and a slew of turnovers in a 61-57 loss to Old Dominion.

The loss halted the best start since Coach John Thompson III arrived at the Hilltop in April 2004, leaving Georgetown (8-1) with just one more tuneup game -- against Harvard on Wednesday at Verizon Center -- before Big East play begins.

Through Georgetown's first eight games, five players led the scoring. But there was no star for the Hoyas on this star-crossed, snowbound night, their efforts undercut by 18 turnovers, 30 percent shooting in the first half and a shaky performance on the free throw line (14 of 22).

Old Dominion (7-4), picked to finish first in the Colonial Athletic Association, outscored Georgetown in the paint, 26-22. In addition, the Monarchs showed up the Hoyas on points off turnovers (20-14), second-chance points (14-4) and fast-break points (6-4) and got more production from their bench (19 points to six), to boot.

Georgetown never led, trailing by 18 points in the second half, but mounted a furious charge over the final three minutes, spurred by Greg Monroe's three-pointer with 2 minutes 40 seconds remaining, which made it 59-54.

But the Monarchs had an answer for each Georgetown shot, with Frank Hassell's putback with 37 seconds left providing the final margin.

"We just couldn't finish pushing through at key moments," said Monroe, who led the Hoyas with 15 points but shot just 5 for 9 from the foul line. "I missed too many free throws. It's just little things we can control."

The Monarchs were paced by Ben Finney's 13 points and, as a team, hit seven of their 16 three-point attempts.

With Washington all but paralyzed by Saturday's whiteout conditions, it was unclear if anyone would brave the snowdrifts to turn out for the game.

Old Dominion, located in Norfolk, made sure its players were on hand by sending them to Washington on Friday, before the snow started falling.

As it turned out, Georgetown students packed the gym to its roughly 2,600-seat capacity and did their raucous best to pull the Hoyas out of their poor-shooting funk.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company